Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Melissa Lundquist


Social Work


The purpose of this paper was to determine whether animal-assisted therapy is effective in treating combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. While the intent was to discover the efficacy of animal-assisted therapy, articles which discussed only the use of psychiatric service dogs were found in the final search. This review highlighted an area for further clarification in future research to ensure that the distinction is made clear between psychiatric service dogs and animal-assisted therapy. The findings illustrated that, when the veterans began to feel benefits of the human-animal bond with their dogs, their psychiatric symptoms became more manageable. A reduction in symptoms enabled the veterans in the studies to feel more comfortable engaging with their communities and participate in outreach efforts. Finally, the combination of a strong bond, manageable symptoms, and community participation lead the veterans to express the hope that they would continue to improve through the partnership with their psychiatric service dog.

Included in

Social Work Commons